Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra

Full Orchestral Experience to Talented Students Grades 6-12

A Reputation of Excellence, Two Decades Strong

Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) is an organization that offers a full orchestral experience to talented area students in grades 6-12. The DYSO is sponsored by the Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur and Millikin University.

The DYSO program is focused on building musical excellence at all stages of musical development.

  • An encouraging, collaborative environment
  • Appropriate musical challenges
  • High-quality musical repertoire
  • Directed by experienced, dynamic music educators
  • Supported by the prestigious Millikin University School of Music and the Millikin/Decatur Symphony Orchestra

Semi-annual concerts

Concerts occur each semester and afford students an advanced performance opportunity. Instruction in chamber ensembles is also part of the DYSO experience.


Auditions are held annually in September. Membership is open to music students in grades 6 through 12 who have had at least one year of experience playing an instrument. Contact Dr. Neal Smith for more information: 

Phone: (217) 424-6358, Email:


Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings at Kirkland Fine Arts Center from 5:15pm to 6:45pm.


Tuition is $52 per semester (scholarships available).


Ready to get started?

To learn more, visit the DYSO page on Millikin’s website for the most up-to-date information. In addition, contact Dr. Neal Smith, Associate Professor at Millikin University’s School of Music, for more information.

Dr. Neal Smith

Dr. Neal Smith

Associate Professor, School of Music